Preview… Pots for the Holiday Sale

The last kiln was fired before the sale this weekend… the pots are piling up.   Tomorrow Pam and I start setting up for Friday!


I took a tea break and photo break today. 


Green Tea

Green Tea, White Tea


Yellow Tea?

 More pics to come tomorrow!



Pictures of Pitcher Making

The last pots I made before the renovations were pitchers.  I feel like there are hardly any pics of pottery lately on my blog so here goes. 

making a spoutwaiting for handlesPullpulled handleattaching the handlefinishing touches

I always made beaked spouted pitchers, just in the past year I began making pulled spouts. Customers seem to like them, and I’m enjoying making them!

What does a potter make per hour? Dinnerware set: Final Results

I know it’s been a long time for those results on the dinnerware set for my family… but you know business gets in the way!  So here are the results,  and the total time it takes to make 15 dinner plates and 15 dessert plates. (actual set came to 12 of each)

There is a little pin-holing on some of the plates… the flow of the glaze just isn’t the same as on a vertical surface.  The glaze just didn’t move, so the resulting thickness left some pin-holing.  So the out of the 30 plates originally thrown, three really bit the dust.  I did get my intended set of 12, because they are not totally up to my standards I might not want to look at them everyday in my kitchen. So I might just put them on my seconds table at my next sale!

dinnerware stack

dinner set 1


12 hours:  throwing and trimming

12 hours: loading, firing, unloading bisque firing

1 hour: glaze testing

5 hours: glazing, (does not include making the glazes, which I tend to forget in my total calculations often) Remember there are also two layers of glaze, and resist design.

45 hours: three glaze firings, loading and unloading included (one glaze firing cannot accommodate 30 plates.  I have plate stackers, but can only fit eight at a time)

If you want to see the detail of each step, look up dinnerware or porcelain place settings, in tags and categories.

Notice I italicized the firings for those of you who think that should not be included, because yes I can do other things during that time, I do not have to sit in front of the kiln, stare at it, and stoke it like a wood firing.  But I do have to be present and turn up switches, and make sure the studio doesn’t burn down!

So if we include all the time calculated above it took a total of:  75 hours… that would be approximately 3 1/4 hours per plate.  If  I charge $40 per dinnerplate, and $30 per lunch plate, I get an average $11 per hour. Porcelain clay is 60 cents per lb.  A dinner plate is 4lbs… that’s 2.40 per plate.  Glaze is hard to calculate per plate, but lets say 50 cents per plate.  Firing cost is approximately $25 per kiln load, so lets again say 50 cents per plate, that’s a $1.00.  If I substract $3.40 from $11 I make $7.60 per hour… hummmn… a BFA from Alfred University, plus 25+ years of experience… Now you will know why I don’t make dinnerware sets for customers!!!

Expert Village Videos on Making Large Bowls

There have been some questions from students on how to make a large bowl like the one in my last post.  A little over a year ago I did a series of pottery making videos for Expert  Check out the bowl making videos…  they are one minute to three minutes long, and for some strange reason are in are in no particular order.